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Debunking the Myth: Underwire Bras During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is an amazing journey but let’s be honest it is filled with a million and one physical and emotional changes. One thing we can probably all agree on is that it’s a time when comfort becomes a top priority?

Amid the many pieces of advice you receive on a daily basis during your pregnancy. You might have heard the myth that you should avoid underwire bras till you have had the baby. Now I get why this might seem like a pretty reasonable option. We know that 99% of women are wearing the wrong size bra. Therefore, naturally, they are going to be experiencing some kind of discomfort from their underwire bras. Add in pregnancy and of course that’s going to be the first thing you want to get rid of.

But is there any scientific basis for this belief, or is it simply an old wives’ tale?

Understanding the Concerns

The concerns about underwire bras during pregnancy are primarily based on the fear that they might compress or constrict the breasts, potentially affecting milk production, circulation, and overall comfort. But let’s break down these concerns one by one and see what the scientific evidence actually says.

1. Milk Production and Flow

One common misconception is that underwire bras can hinder milk production and flow. However, there is no concrete scientific evidence to support this claim. Milk production is primarily regulated by hormonal signals, and the type of bra you wear is unlikely to interfere with this natural process. The key factors influencing milk production are proper nutrition, hydration, and a baby’s feeding pattern.

2. Circulation

Concerns are also raised about underwire bras compressing the breasts and restricting blood flow. The truth is that underwire bras are designed with flexible wires that should not excessively compress the breast tissue. The issue arises here with women wearing the wrong size / fit bra and therefore the wires and band are not sitting in the correct place on the breasts. This is what is causing the discomfort, not the fact the bra is underwired. A properly fitting underwire bra should not negatively impact blood circulation to the breast tissue. Therefore it is so crucial to ensure you wear bras that fit well and accommodate your changing shape during pregnancy. If you don’t know what size that is, then book in for a Posture Fitting appointment.

3. Comfort and Support

Pregnancy can lead to breast soreness and discomfort due to hormonal changes and increased breast size as we progress through our pregnancy. Some women find that underwire bras provide better support for their breasts and this added support can actually help to alleviate back pain. A well-fitted underwire bra will offer additional lift and support to the breasts, making it a more comfortable choice during pregnancy.

Choosing the Right Bra

While underwire bras are not inherently harmful during pregnancy, it’s essential to choose bras that fit you well and provide the support and comfort that you need.

  1. Regular Bra Fittings: Your breast size can change throughout pregnancy. Regularly getting measured for a proper fit can ensure that your bras accommodate these changes. Posture Fitting is a physio led approach to optimal bra fitting and postural support/enhancement.
  2. Supportive Maternity Bras: Consider maternity bras that are designed to provide adequate support while offering features like stretchy cups, wider straps, and soft materials for comfort.
  3. Wire-Free Options: If you still prefer to avoid underwire bras, wire-free bras are available that can offer good support and comfort. It is really important that you ensure optimal fit of these bras. Without wires, some of the support will be lost and therefore it is crucial to ensure the bra is providing as much support as possible. As comfortable as some of the supermarket crop tops might seem during pregnancy. They are not providing any support to your growing breasts during pregnancy.
  4. Adjustable Bands: Look for bras with adjustable bands and multiple hook settings to accommodate changes in your ribcage size or look to purchase some extender straps.
  5. Comfort: Pay attention to how a bra feels on your body. It should not dig into your skin, cause pain or move when you move. These are all signs that you are wearing the wrong size/fit.

In conclusion, the myth that you should not wear underwire bras during pregnancy lacks a strong scientific basis. The key is to prioritise comfort, support, and an optimal fit.

What works best for you during this unique time is a personal choice, and you should feel confident in selecting bras that make you feel comfortable and supported throughout your pregnancy.

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